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8 May 2020

This chicken pozole rojo recipe is classic Mexican cuisine, with lots of hominy, chunky chicken, and a flavorful red sauce made with ancho and guajillo peppers. It’s the ultimate Mexican soup. Very authentic!

If you enjoy a good stew recipe, or a soup with lots of chunky chicken or pork, then Mexican Chicken Pozole Rojo is something you’ll want to try. It certainly is a classic dish, very traditional to Mexico, and it has a number of variations, ranging from chicken and pork and different types of meat, to a huge variety of preferred garnishes.

I stick with what I typically have on hand – slices radishes, serranos, cilantro, some lime wedges – though others like to include lemon, cabbage, salsa, onion, avocado or other chili peppers. Roasted jalapenos or serranos would be awesome here.

One of the keys with a good chicken pozole rojo is the chili paste that you prepare with dried ancho chiles and guajillo chiles. This paste is seriously good stuff. It adds depth and flavor, and also color, to the dish and it really makes it distinctive.

Chunky, brothy Chicken Pozole Rojo in a bowl

Funny thing is, before I learned how to make pozole, I had been swirling ancho paste into a dish I had made up on my own years ago. Turns out I had been making something close to this classic dish somehow. No wonder I love it!

This is truly a one pot meal. I want to file this under “quick and easy”, because honestly, it is easy to prepare, but it is best to let it simmer for a while.

Simmer Pozole Longer for More Developed Flavor

I’ve seen some 30-minute pozole recipes and I’ve made some that didn’t simmer for long, but it is best to let the flavors cook and develop, like any good stew or soup, or even chili. The longer you cook it, the better the flavors become. It’s worth the wait.

Hominy is traditional for pozole, but if you’re looking for a variation, try something like kidney beans instead. I also like to add diced potato occasionally. Tastes good to me!

Let’s talk about how we make my chicken pozole rojo, shall we?

Chicken Pozole Rojo in a bowl, garnished with peppers and radishes

Chicken Pozole Rojo Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken breast
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped (or use serrano peppers for more pronounced heat)
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 8 cups chicken broth (chicken stock)
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 can hominy – about 25 ounces
  • 2 ancho peppers
  • 2 guajillo peppers
  • 3 ounces tomato paste (optional, if desired)
  • 1 lime + extras for serving
  • FOR GARNISH: sliced radishes or pickled radishes, fresh cilantro, sliced jalapenos or serranos, onion, sliced avocado, lime wedges, tortilla chips or strips, hot sauce, so many ideas!

Chicken Pozole Rojo in a bowl with lots of hominy

How to Make Chicken Pozole Rojo – the Recipe Method

FOR THE CHILI PASTE

Heat a small pan to medium heat and add the ancho and guajillo peppers. Dry roast them for 2-3 minutes, flipping occasionally, until they are fragrant. Toasting the dried chiles like this releases their oils, making them more flavorful.

Set them into a bowl of very hot water and cover for about 15 minutes to 20 minutes to soften. Boiling water is fine, just be careful.

Transfer to a food processor with the tomato paste (if you are using it) and a few tablespoons of the soaking liquid. Add a bit of salt. Process until smooth. Set aside for now.

Homemade Harissa in a bowl - it's a wonderfully versatile chili paste

FOR THE CHICKEN POZOLE ROJO

Heat a large pot to medium heat and add some olive oil. I like to use a large Dutch oven for this, though a large stockpot is great here, especially if you’re making a double batch. You’ll need room for the soup to simmer.

Chop the chicken breast into bite-sized chunks and season with salt, pepper and chili powder. Add to the pot and sear each side a couple minutes.

Add onion and jalapeno peppers. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring a bit.

Add garlic and cook another minute.

Add chicken broth, bay leaf, oregano, thyme, cumin, and hominy. Stir. Reduce heat to simmer.

Swirl the ancho/guajillo chili paste into your pozole.

Simmer the pozole for 30 minutes, though 1 hour or longer is better to develop more flavor.

Squeeze lime juice from a half a lime and swirl into the soup and serve it in bowls.

Top with your favorite garnishments!

Boom! Done! Easy enough, isn’t it? Chicken pozole rojo is an easy recipe, and I love easy, as you know. BIG flavor on the table right here. I think you’re going to love it.

A bowl of Chicken Pozole Rojo, ready to enjoy

Recipe Tips & Notes

  • The Chicken. Traditional chicken pozole is often made with a whole chicken, which is essentially submerged and simmered in the pot with the stock and seasonings until it is cooked through and wonderfully tender. Give it a try that way.
  • Pork Pozole. Pozole is more traditionally made with pork, though chicken is outstanding here and also cooks more quickly. There are a few ways to make it with pork. You can either cube pork shoulder and sear the pieces in a pan, then add the pork and simmer them partially covered per the recipe until they become very tender. Or you can submerge a whole pork shoulder and simmer it for hours until the whole thing becomes tender, then shred it. I have made it both ways and love it each time. Cooking the pork is as easy as cooking the chicken. It just takes longer.
  • The Chili Paste. You can make the chili paste with other chili peppers. I use ancho and guajillo a lot, as they are easy for me to find and are two of my favorite Mexican peppers to cook with. I just LOVE the flavor. Sometimes I toss in a few chile de arbol peppers for extra heat. Try it with others, like mulato peppers, pasilla peppers or others, or use a combination of them for different flavors.

That’s it, my friends. I hope you enjoy my chicken pozole rojo recipe. Please let me know if you make it. Send pics! Classic, authentic Mexican cuisine at its best for sure. Definitely one our favorites here.

Try Some of My Other Popular Recipes

Patty’s Perspective

This dish, to me, is very unique. It’s amazing how a different ingredient like hominy can affect the flavor of the stew. It’s so authentically Mexican. Mike made a big pot and it was even better the next day.

A bowl of Chicken Pozole Rojo

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Chicken Pozole Rojo Recipe
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Chicken Pozole Rojo Recipe

This chicken pozole rojo recipe is classic Mexican cuisine, with lots of hominy, chunky chicken, and a flavorful red sauce made with ancho and guajillo peppers.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: hominy, jalapenos, serrano, soup
Servings: 6 bowls
Calories: 179kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken breast
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 can hominy – about 25 ounces
  • 2 ancho peppers
  • 2 guajillo peppers
  • 3 ounces tomato paste (optional, if desired)
  • 1 lime + extras for serving

FOR GARNISH: sliced radishes or pickled radishes, fresh cilantro, sliced jalapenos or serranos, onion, sliced avocado, lime wedges, tortilla strips, hot sauce, so many ideas!

    Instructions

    FOR THE CHILI PASTE

    • Heat a small pan to medium heat and add the ancho and guajillo peppers. Dry roast them for 2-3 minutes, flipping occasionally, until they are fragrant.
    • Set them into a bowl of very hot water and cover for about 20 minutes to soften.
    • Transfer to a food processor with the tomato paste (if you are using it) and a few tablespoons of the soaking liquid. Add a bit of salt. Process until smooth. Set aside for now.

    FOR THE CHICKEN POZOLE ROJO

    • Heat a large pot to medium heat and add some olive oil.
    • Chop the chicken breast into bite-sized chunks and season with salt, pepper and chili powder. Add to the pot and sear each side a couple minutes.
    • Add onion and jalapeno peppers. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring a bit.
    • Add garlic and cook another minute.
    • Add chicken broth, bay leaf, oregano, thyme, cumin, and hominy. Stir. Reduce heat to simmer.
    • Swirl the ancho/guajillo chili paste into your pozole.
    • Allow the pozole to simmer for 30 minutes, though 1 hour or longer is better to develop more flavor.
    • Squeeze in the juice from a half a lime and swirl into the soup and serve it in bowls.
    • Top with your favorite garnishments!

    Video

    Notes

    Heat Factor: Mild-Medium. Big on flavor, though!
    Calories estimated without the garnish.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 179kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 304mg | Potassium: 805mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1020IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 2mg

    NOTE: This recipe was updated on 5/8/20 to include new video, photos and information. It was originally published on 4/27/2015.

     
    Chicken Pozole Rojo

    4 comments

    1. 5 stars
      I love hominy, and the paste, spices, and garnishes sound fantastic! I like everything super hot so would probably use more jalapenos or serranos (definitely NOT deseeded!). I’ll use the cubed pork shoulder and red pepper flakes (no chiles de arbol available). With the lime, radishes, etc. for garnish, that just sounds like heaven!!!

      1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

        Thanks, Hollis! Sounds like you enjoy it the way I do, nice and spicy! Thanks!

    2. I’ve never tried a posole before but is sure looks comforting and so hearty. Recipes like this are perfect for the cool Autumn weather here in Australia – so I definitely am inspired to try out the recipe!






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